Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

An Application for Travel Document is for people under different circumstances to help them re enter the U.S. after temporary international travel. Form I-131 should be filed with the USCIS to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the US for humanitarian reasons.

Advance Parole is for applicants who have a pending Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident, and who wish to travel before the application is approved. Refugee Travel Document is for applicants who hold Refugee or Asylee status in the US and who wish to travel abroad.

A Re-entry Permit is for Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) who will be outside the United States for an extended period of time, normally one year or more.

Applications for re entry permit should be filed in the U.S. Additionally the Lawful Permanent Resident has to appear for a biometrics appointment (fingerprinting) before he or she can leave the country. You can leave the U.S. after getting the fingerprinting done and pick up the document at a U.S. Consulate or DHS office abroad. Else, you may remain in the U.S. until the application is approved. Processing times differ, but generally range from three to six months.

Re entry Permits are valid only for two years and cannot be renewed. But you can return to the U.S. to file another application. Normally, a Lawful Permanent Resident can spend almost six years outside the U.S. and retain his/her Re entry Permit.

If you are filing the I-131 application based on your pending or approved Form I-821, you should file your form with the USCIS Dallas Lock box facility. Additionally, you should include a copy of the I-797 C Notice of Action that shows that your application was accepted or approved.

If you are applying for renewal of your advance parole document, USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-131 filed up to 120 days before the date your Advance Parole document that you have at present expires.

All Refugees or Reentry Permit applicants should complete biometrics at an Application Support Center (ASC). They should get the fingerprinting done at an overseas USCIS facility if applying for a Refugee Travel Document while being outside of the U.S.. If you are between 14 and 79 years old and you are applying for a Document or Re-entry Permit, you have to be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements.

Once you have filed this application, USCIS will notify you of the time/location of your biometrics appointment. If you fail to appear for biometrics, it might result in a denial of your application. All applicants for Re-entry Permit and/or Refugee Travel Documents aged between 14 and 79 years should pay an additional $85 biometric fee.

The submission fee for advance parole or re-entry permit is $360 and for a Refugee Travel Document for applicants aged 16 or older is $135. For a child below 16 years of age, the fee is $105. Applicants aged between 14 and 79 should pay a biometric fee of $85 for a Reentry Permit and a Refugee Travel Document, unless the applicant resides abroad at the time of filing their form. Advance parole applicants need not pay the biometric fee.

Applying For A Travel Document With The Form I 131

There are many a times when we are required to take a quick trip outside the United States for personal or emergency reasons. It is of great importance that all our paperwork related to our travel is in place. This way we will not face any trouble while coming back in. Let’s now check what needs to be done to ensure an exit and safe return to the United States.

If you plan to take a trip outside the United States of America for more than year but less than two years in duration, then a re-entry permit will be required for getting readmitted. To apply for a re-entry permit you should file Form I 131.

Form I 131 can be used by those people who are green card holders. The form I 131 is primarily used by permanent residents who are required to be in the U.S. when filing it and must appear for the bio-metric appointment before they can embark on their trip.

The form I 131 is used to request for a travel document. The application for advance parole may be filed concurrently with the form I 485. The application for advance parole may also be filed at a time when the form I 485 is pending. The application for advance parole can be filed at the same service center as the form I 485. As a general rule, applicants who have lived in the U.S for more than 180 days without legal status cannot apply for Advance Parole as they will be ineligible to reenter the United States for either three or ten years even with an Advance Parole Document.

It is best if the applicant waits till his form I 131 application is approved before departing the United States of America. The processing time may vary but it generally ranges from three to six months. The travel document filed with Form I 131 is valid for one year and can be renewed.

The Form I 131 can also be prepared to apply for a refugee travel document. This application should be made in the United States. However, if you are a refugee, you can depart the U.S before the application is approved and may pick up the travel document at a United States Consulate or DHS office overseas. As an alternative, the applicant can also remain in the United States till the application is approved and then pick the travel document from a consulate or DHS office overseas. The processing time for a refugee travel document varies but it generally ranges from three to six months and is valid for one year. To qualify for an a Refugee Travel Document the applicant must be holding a refugee or asylee status and the general rule is that the applicant cannot file for a refugee travel document to travel to a country were he might fear persecution.

The re-entry permits are generally valid for two years and are not renewable. However the applicant may return to the United States to file for another permit. The general thumb rule is that the green card holder can spend almost six years outside the United States and retain a re-entry permit. Longer absence would require an application for Special Immigrant.